Poole Pirates: Poole fightback stuns King's Lynn Stars

CAPTAIN: Darcy Ward

CAPTAIN: Darcy Ward

First published in Sport
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Bournemouth Echo: Photograph of the Author by

PIRATES breathed new life into their Elite League title defence as they came from eight points down to stun leaders King’s Lynn at the Norfolk Arena tonight.

Minus the unavailable Shamek Pawlicki, Neil Middleditch’s septet delivered one of the shocks of the season as they ended the Stars’ unbeaten home record in 2014.

The 49-41 victory enabled Pirates to cut to six points Lynn’s lead at the summit, but the psychological blow struck by the win could prove more telling.

The meeting start was delayed by 15 minutes due to traffic around the stadium but when matters got under way, the hosts appeared unruffled.

Following a shared opening heat in which Poole skipper Darcy Ward pushed Niels-Kristian Iversen all the way, the Stars cranked up the pressure.

A 4-2 led by flying reserve Lewis Kerr was followed by a 5-1 maximum courtesy of Kenneth Bjerre and Rory Schlein.

Vaclav Milik grabbed victory in a shared heat four but the home advantage became eight points after Poole guest Chris Harris was beaten into second by Iversen.

Pirates needed a shot in the arm and they got what they wanted thanks to back-to-back 5-1s, which drew matters level at 21-21.

Ward and Maciej Janowski flew away from the tapes to triumph in heat five, before Grajczonek and Newman achieved the same feat next time out.

A victory for Harris backed up by the third-placed Milik put Poole in front for the first time and a jet-propelled start by Newman saw the youngster take victory in heat nine.

Janowski and Harris left home supporters dumbfounded by storming to Pirates’ third 5-1 of the night, with two shared heats putting the visitors six points up with three races to go.

King’s Lynn’s fans were heading for the exit doors following heat 13, when Janowski and Ward stunned Iversen and Bjerre with a maximum.

The penultimate heat was shared before Ward and Janowski only suffered a 4-2 reverse in the final showdown, meaning Poole took four points home to Dorset.

RIDERS’ SCORES AND HEAT DETAILS

Stars 41: 1 Niels-Kristian Iversen (3-3-1-1-3) 11, 2 Nicklas Porsing (0-1-0-2) 3, 3 Rory Schlein (2*-0-2-0) 4+1, 4 Robert Lambert (2-1-0-2) 5, 5 Kenneth Bjerre (3-1-3-0-1) 8, 6 Lewis Kerr (3-1*-1*-1*-1*) 7+4, 7 Lewis Rose (1-0-2) 3. Team manager: Rob Lyon.

Pirates 49: 1 Darcy Ward (2-3-2-2*-2) 11+1, 2 Vaclav Milik (1*-3-1-3) 8+1, 3 Chris Harris, guest (0-2-3-2*) 7+1, 4 Josh Grajczonek (0-3-1*-3) 7+1, 5 Maciej Janowski (1-2*-3-3-0) 9+1, 6 Kyle Newman (2-2*-3-0-0) 7+1, 7 Benji Compton (0-0-0) 0. Team manager: Neil Middleditch.

Ht 1: Iversen, Ward, Milik, Porsing, 59.92 (3-3)

Ht 2: Kerr, Newman, Rose, Compton, 60.82 (7-5)

Ht 3: Bjerre, Schlein, Janowski, Harris, 59.28 (12-6)

Ht 4: Milik, Lambert, Kerr, Compton, 60.11 (15-9)

Ht 5: Iversen, Harris, Bjerre, Grajczonek, 59.55 (19-11)

Ht 6: Ward, Janowski, Lambert, Schlein, 60.98 (20-16)

Ht 7: Grajczonek, Newman, Porsing, Rose, 60.87 (21-21)

Ht 8: Harris, Schlein, Milik, Lambert, 60.72 (23-25)

Ht 9: Newman, Rose, Kerr, Compton, 61.66 (26-28)

Ht 10: Janowski, Harris, Iversen, Porsing, 60.88 (27-33)

Ht 11: Bjerre, Ward, Grajczonek, Schlein, 60.90 (30-36)

Ht 12: Milik, Porsing, Kerr, Newman, 61.00 (33-39)

Ht 13: Janowski, Ward, Iversen, Bjerre, 61.55 (34-44)

Ht 14: Grajczonek, Lambert, Kerr, Newman, 61.80 (37-47)

Ht 15: Iversen, Ward, Bjerre, Janowski, 61.22 (41-49)

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